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How Leaders Can Avoid Getting Burned Out



Workplace stress has direct adverse effects on any employees’ mental health, with an increased risk of depression, substance use disorders, anxiety, and burnout. Despite seeming like a mild mental health issue, burnout can pose a grave threat to employees’ wellness. And this is happening at an alarming rate. Indeed (2020) revealed that before the COVID-19 outbreak, employee burnout cases increased by 9%. Fifty-two percent of all employees manifested telltale signs of burnout.


But what exactly is employee burnout?


Forbes (2021) characterized burnout as a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion, which could dampen employees’ motivation and productivity in their accomplishments, personal identity, and performance. In FlexJobs (2020), at least 75% of employees have experienced burnout. These are employees of various age groups and from different rankings or positions, including leaders. Therefore, just like any regular worker, leaders are not spared from frequent or constant burnout (Gallup, 2020).


Here are a few dependable ways how you can prevent yourself, as a leader, from being in a downward spiral.


1. Allow for vibe checking during your online meetings.


Check-ins or vibe checks are a process by which groups of people are asked about their mental and emotional state at the moment. This can promote an open discourse between and among employees, including yourself so that one can vent out or release any steaming emotion.


2. Advocate for mental health wellness.


Educate your team on signs of employee burnout. You may also discuss depression and other prevailing mental health issues. It would be recommended to tap a knowledgeable person-of-authority to be a key resource person.


3. Cut the red tapes.


Sometimes, the problem lies in the system or process. Maybe your current setup needs some untangling or cutting, especially when the procedures are excessive, rigid, or redundant. Make it easy for everyone by detecting the root of delay or inaction to achieve a better workflow.


4. Use your breaks and PTOs.


Bathroom and mental health breaks and your paid time off days are an important part of an employee’s life. You are entitled to these even if you are a leader yourself. With these, you can recover and recharge so that you can take on another day with a fresher spirit and renewed purpose and productivity.


5. Encourage everyone to have a work-life balance.


Maybe it is high time for you and your company to establish flexible work arrangements to guarantee everyone’s work-life balance. Ensuring everyone, from top to bottom, can avail of this policy, you can foster a work environment that revolves around trust, responsibility, and convenience.


6. Commend yourself as well as the people around you.


Recognitions help all employees see that their company values them, their efforts, and their contributions to its success in general. Especially in these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, compliments, recognitions, and words of affirmation are crucial to employee morale, productivity, job satisfaction, and motivation. Everyone is trying their best to respond to the change needed in today’s job landscape. By doing so, you are not only practicing empathetic leadership but also kindness in the workplace. They will also commend you in return. Recognition of their work should make you feel good, too, as you are by all means part of their success. Such best leadership practices can help you prevent stress and put your character and morals in good light.


As a leader, who spearheads operations and makes directives to lead the team in one direction, you must have a sound mind since many people, including your subordinates, root for you.


Author- Regi Publico

She is a full-time writer based in Manila who is also an artist for fun. She takes pride in her towering collection of books and loves reading about anything under the sun. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge through every article that she writes.


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